Shirky on the FCC

Clay Shirky with a well thought out and pretty thorough essay. He covers the FCC ruling and the various ways of approaching the issue as well as presenting a comparison to the freest media so far; weblogs. Everything he says makes a lot of sense in terms of regulation and business benefits but in the end the only thing I really care about is independence of content, the problem I have with big media outfits owning a lot of properties isn’t the lack of diversity directly, we’ll still have a bunch of channels, it’s the way they cross breed and try to attain synergy.

I’m not afraid of a huge conglomerate owning too many stations, I just dont want to see all the back scratching between all their units. Network A shows a Mother co.’s subsidiaries’s movie right before the sequel comes out in theaters. A news show then does a puff piece on it and a month later it’s another piece on some new ride in the mother companie’s amusement park. Or some scandal is glossed over when it relates to a sister company. Own as many as you like, just keep them separate when it comes to editorial content.

I think that’s what we still have and should keep in weblogs. Sure, the A-list blogs have huge traffic but the small guys are still independent, who cares if one blog is much bigger than others? When you want a blog on pretty much any subject after a bit of Googling you can find one. As long as he doesn’t answer to an A-lister (or anyone else for that matter) for his editorial choices, we’re ok.

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